EuroMOMO Bulletin, Week 18, 2020

Excess mortality observed

Pooled mortality estimates from the EuroMOMO network continue to show a markedly increased level of excess all-cause mortality overall for the participating European countries, coinciding with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This overall excess mortality is driven by a very substantial excess mortality in some countries, while other countries have had no excess mortality. The mortality excess is primarily seen in the age group of ≥65 years, but also in the age group of 15-64 years.

For the EuroMOMO network as a whole, from week 10, 2020 and as of week 18, there were 149,447 excess deaths estimated in total, including 137,524 in the age group ≥65 years and 11,573 in the 15-64 years age group. This time period includes part of the influenza season as well as the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The excess mortality estimated by EuroMOMO over the past weeks appears to have peaked in all countries by now. However, the data reported for the most recent weeks must be read with caution, despite the applied correction for delay in registration.

Finer age groups shown by EuroMOMO

To increase the resolution in our estimated mortality data, we have added some finer age groups within the group of ≥65 years (i.e. 65-74, 75-84 and 85+ years). Please see the example below and see further on our Graphs and Maps page.

Note on data from Ireland

In Ireland, as a result of very significant delays in death registrations during March and April 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekly z-scores of excess all-cause mortality do not reflect current COVID-19 (and non-COVID-19) excess mortality in Ireland. Further data on notified COVID-19 deaths in Ireland are available on the website.

Graph 2020-18

Note on interpretation of data: The number of deaths shown for the three most recent weeks should be interpreted with caution, as adjustments for delayed registrations may be imprecise. Furthermore, results of pooled analyses may vary depending on countries included in the weekly analyses. Pooled analyses are adjusted for variation between the included countries and for differences in the local delay in reporting.

About EuroMOMO network data sharing and collaboration

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, information on its mortality impact is of major concern. The EuroMOMO network hub receives many questions about the weekly mortality data we present, as well as requests to share the underlying national data. While the network fully supports data sharing, the network hub is not mandated by the participating countries to release any national data. If you are interested in accessing national data, please approach countries individually.

The EuroMOMO network welcomes collaboration with external partners, e.g. about additional analyses and modelling to be performed. If you are interested in engaging with the network about any such collaboration, please forward your ideas to the hub, for wider sharing and dialogue with the network.

Kindly note that any use of data or information originating from the EuroMOMO website must be appropriately quoted and acknowledged.